Opinion – Eduardo Sodré: Nissan relaunches Versa to face Honda City and Volkswagen Virtus


There are ongoing changes in the sedan category, which bravely survive the SUV fad. Some compact models today are the same size as cars that were considered medium in the early 2000s.

Consequently, they are more equipped and expensive. Even so, they remain a lower-cost alternative when compared to similar-sized urban jeeps.

An example is the Nissan Versa, which reaches the 2023 line with prices starting at R$ 100.2 thousand and reaching R$ 121.7 thousand. The Kicks SUV, its platform “brother”, starts at R$ 111 thousand and goes up to R$ 146.2 thousand. The standard package is similar, and both are equipped with six airbags.

Another point in common is the 1.6 flex engine (113 hp) combined with the CVT automatic transmission, which simulates seven gears.

In the coldness of the numbers, the cost-benefit ratio is favorable to the Versa. At the wheel, however, the jeep delivers a ride that better filters the bad floor, in addition to having a height from the ground that brings tranquility in stretches with holes and speed bumps.

There is, however, one more important point in favor of the sedan: the superior space both in the cabin and in the trunk. It is a car more suitable for families, in addition to doing a good job as a taxi or app car.

With so many qualities, the low sales volume of the Nissan model is surprising. The explanation lies in the difficulties in importing the model during the most critical period of the health crisis.

The current Versa is produced in Mexico, and its launch in Brazil took place in October 2020, a time when the component supply crisis was already affecting the global industry. The car came in small batches, with prices that rose rapidly due to the cost of logistics and production processes.

Now the Japanese automaker believes in supply stability and relaunches the model. The design is the same, but there are changes to reduce pollutant emissions: the car was adapted to the seventh phase of Proconve (Program for the Control of Air Pollution by Motor Vehicles).

But this Nissan’s life on the market will not be easy. The equipment that was exclusive in 2020 – such as an autonomous braking system, lane readers and smartphone induction charging – are already present in the most evolved compact sedans.

The Versa’s main competitors are the Honda City (starting at R$ 117,300) and the recently launched Volkswagen Virtus, which underwent several style changes and now starts at R$ 113,000 in the 170 TSI version equipped with a gearbox. automatic.

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